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Coming to church for the first time?

Coming to church for the first time?

We know that coming to church can be quite intimidating. Even for a regular church-goer, a new church throws up all sorts of questions. Well, here we try to answer them and, above all, tell you that you will be welcome here!

Before the service

When are the services?

Sunday services are:

10.00 am Family Service at Newbattle Church

11.30 am Tradtional Service at Newtongrange Church

11.30am Tradtional Service at Mayfield and Easthouses Church

Four times a year we hold a United Parish Celebration of Holy Communion when the congregation come together in one place.

We aslo hold Messy Church - an informal family friendly veent that includes games and grafts, a short service of celebration followed by a meal. Messy Church is held at Mayfileld Easthouses Church on the 1st Tuesday of every month, from 4.30-6.30 pm.

We hold special services at Easter and Christmas, plus occastional evening services.

Can I just walk in?
Yes! Anyone is welcome.

Can I bring the kids?
Yes! Children are very welcome. They can join in the first part of the service at Newbattle and leave after the second hymn to go through to Sunday Club.

I use a wheelchair - can I get in?
Yes – each of our building has wheelchair access and a ramp is provided at Newtongrange.

What should I wear?
There is no dress code.

How long will the service be?
It depends what kind of service it is. Usually around an hour.

Can I leave if I want to?
Obviously we hope you will want to stay – but of course you may get up and leave at any point if you wish.

Do I need to bring anything?
No. However we do take a collection during the service and it is up to you if you wish to join in.

I don't know if I'm a Christian - does that matter?
No – all are welcome, whatever stage you are at in your spiritual journey. .

Come inside

What happens when I walk in?
You will be greeted with a smile and a welcoming "Hello" from the Welcome Team – and given an Order of Service..

Where do I sit?
Pretty much anywhere you like. No one has reserved seats.

Will anyone speak to me?
Hopefully yes! We do try and give a friendly welcome to anyone new – but it helps us if you let us know it’s your first time. If you wish you can fill in one of the Welcome cards.

The service

How do I know when to stand up and sit down?
You will only need to stand for the hymn singing.

And how do I know when we are supposed to say something aloud?
It is usual for us to repeat the Lord's Prayer whilst the children are still with us. It is your choice whether you join in.The Lord's Prayer is always printed on the Order of Service.

What if I don't know the hymns?
Don’t worry – we have a wide range of hymns and no one can know them all. Try and join in as it goes along. No one will mind if you don’t sing.


Who is the Minister and members of the Ministry Team?
The Parish Minister is the Rev Sean Swindells, Locum Associate Minister: Rev Malcolm Muir, Local Ordained Minister: Rev Mike Watson,Mission and Outreach Coordinatior : Mrs Erika Pryde, Pastoral Worker: Mr Gordon Steven DCS

Does it matter if the baby makes a noise?
Not at all – we know babies make noises and we love to have them in church. However, if your child becomes raucious or if you feel he or she id distrubling others in the church, please use the vesty (in Newbattle Church) where the service is relayed via TV. If you need to stand up with your baby or take them outside to calm them, again that’s fine.

Can my kids join in?
Yes. They may go through to Sunday Club (At Newbattle) after the second hymn, but children are welcome to stay sitting with you during the service if you prefer.

Will the sermon be long and boring?
Definitly not! Sermons last for about 15 minutes, based on the Bible reading for the day, and would include day-to-day issues.

Why are some people ignoring the collection bag?
Regulars may be giving in other ways and so do not put money in the bag each week.

How do I know the service has ended?
The Minister will give a blessing  followed by the  'Amen', and we all sing “May God’s Blessing Surround you”, and will then walk down the aisle towards the door. People will sit down, and sometimes will spend a few moments in a quiet prayer before getting up to leave. Some will go home and some will stay for tea and coffee..

After the service

Should I stay for coffee?
Yes please do. Come and have a coffee/tea – and let us know you are new to Newbattle Parish. We try very hard to make sure all are welcome, so you won’t be left standing on your own!

What should I do with the Order of Service?
Take it home, the notices and forthcoming events might be useful etc. We create new sheets for each service so we don’t need them back.

I'd like to come regularly - should I tell someone?
It’s always good for us to know if someone is new, and especially if they feel they would like to come regularly.

Any other questions - please speak to a member of the ministry team!